Expanding Participation of People with Disabilities in the Philippines AKA “EXPAND”

Our Goal

In 2012, via the EMPOWER Program funded by the US Department of State, Discovering Deaf Worlds began providing Deaf Filipinos with training on organizational development, Deaf education, policy, advocacy, and community outreach.

With the EXPAND Program, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), our goal was to “expand” the participation of Deaf Filipinos in their country’s society, workforce, and culture. How? By working with the Philippine Federation of the Deaf (PFD) to improve the sustainability of PFD and its 28 member organizations, creating a stronger pool of Deaf leaders who can carry on this vital advocacy work.

Our Strategy

We worked closely with the PFD Sustainability Sub Committee (PFD-SSC) through 2015, using a “train the trainer” approach. After DDW program specialists imported knowledge and assisted with hosting capacity building workshops for the Filipino Deaf community, PFD-SSC members successfully became self-sufficient in the necessary skills. PFD-SSC then planned, hosted, facilitated and exported what they learned by training their peers throughout the country. Meet the DDW and Filipino team members.

As a result, PFD and its member organizations are better equipped to improve the rights, education, economic opportunities, and communication access for the 120,000 Deaf people in the Philippines.

Our Results

button-meetteamThrough the hard work of PFD, DDW and the participants of the EXPAND program we surpassed our training goal by 1,412 Deaf Filipinos and successfully impacted 63 Deaf organizations.

The Philippine Federation of the Deaf created an organizational management training manual, successfully campaigned for the first electoral debate interpreted in Filipino Sign Language, and most recently lobbied the Filipino Senate in support of declaring the Filipino Sign Language as the national sign language of the Filipino Deaf and the official language to be used in all government transactions.

To find out the latest updates with the Philippine Federation of the Deaf, visit their Facebook page here.

Read more about the EXPAND Program here



March vol. 7, iss.3 Jul vol. 7, iss.4

The EXPAND Program was made possible with the generous support from the American people, delivered through the U.S. Agency for International Development.

For more information, contact Davin Searls at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it





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between DDW and PFD by
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